7 Blogging No-No’s
Being human, bloggers have a propensity to commit blogging sins. As a blogger, you’ve a responsibility to your readers, fellow bloggers and the public. While there’s no professional certification, bloggers have an implicit agreement to act within ethical guidelines.
Here are the seven deadly sins of blogging.
- Wrath: Thou shalt not rant about other people, either your customers or others. While blogs provide an easy-to-use publishing platform, it doesn’t mean you should set up a blog for the sole purpose of complaining about an individual or business. Before you let the words stream from your brain straight through to your fingertips, consider the longer-term impact. If you just want to rant, put your ideas on paper and then let them sit for at least twenty-four hours and revisit them. Ensure there’s a foundation for your complaints. You don’t want to appear hot tempered on social media platforms. It’s much better to err on the side of being overly cautious because once it’s on the Internet; it’s there forever.
- Greed: Thou shalt not be a company shill. Today’s savvy consumers can smell a false advertising or endorsement a mile away. This means that your blog shouldn’t be a channel for just pushing your firm’s product! While the allure of a few quick hits seem worthwhile, what will happen to your online influence once you’re seen as just a company or affiliate mouthpiece?
- Sloth: Thou shalt not post only when the spirit moves you. As a blogger, it’s important to have a consistent publishing schedule so readers know when to show up for juicy new content. While you have the freedom to blog whenever you wish, you’ll miss the free spirit segment that doesn’t want to commit to RSS and email. (Here’s input regarding blog post frequency.)
- Pride: Thou shalt not blog only about yourself or your organization. Get over yourself. Your readers don’t care about the minutia of your life or your business. With limited attention spans, readers think “What’s in it for me?” If you’ve decided to write a personal journal focused on the details of your life, that’s fine but understand that unless you’re a celebrity, chances are the public won’t be interested in your content. To be a successful blogger, you must focus on your readers’ interests and needs.
- Lust: Thou shalt not steal other people’s content or ideas. In addition to being wrong, it’s illegal. You must attribute any form of intellectual property including but not limited to text, quotes, photographs, video, audio, research and other content to the creator. This also applies to other bloggers’ designs or graphic elements. Further, linking to the source of the idea or content is at the heart of blogging and can cause influential people to notice you.
- Envy: Thou shalt not covet other bloggers’ social media sharing numbers, quantity of reader comments, or social media influence scores (such as klout.) Every blogger wants to get recognized on social media platforms. Strong content and engagement across social media platforms helps you to build a following. One way to encourage comments on your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs and to respond quickly to comments on your own. The challenge is interacting with your readers and responding to readers comments so that they know you appreciate their input. “Good comment” isn’t enough. You must think about your response just as your readers did.
- Gluttony: Thou shalt not stuff your blog posts with empty content and marketing-speak. On blogs and social media, in general, it’s important to have a human voice. Consumers don’t want to read posts that sound like they’ve been written by a voiceless computer. To increase your credibility and engagement, make sure that your blog posts and related content sound like something a real person would say.
Whether you’re explicitly committing any of these seven deadly blogging sins or not, it’s useful to go through your blog to determine where you may not have been as above board as you could have been.
Are there any other blogging sins that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they?
Here are some related articles that you may be interested in.
- Social Media’s Ten Commandments
- 7 Sure Fire Ways to Create Social Media Content When Your Heart Isn’t In It.
Photo credit: HeathBrandon via Flickr